Previous Entry Add to Memories Share Next Entry
DC Comics Responds To Orson Scott Card Backlash
james_nicoll

A DC Comics representative gave the following statement to The Advocate:

"As content creators we steadfastly support freedom of expression, however the personal views of individuals associated with DC Comics are just that - personal views - and not those of the company itself."

Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comment(s); comment here or there.

Wow, so a comic creator can go on an anti-semitic rant and suffer no repercussions? How interesting.

No? They'd never someone who denied the holocaust, claimed that Jews were part of an international conspiracy, and used the blood of unbaptized infants to make matzoh?

But I thought that "the personal views of individuals associated with DC Comics are just that - personal views".

I suspect so... IF the author were popular enough. Were, somehow, GRRM to retain his fan base and to say some awful things about Jews, Women, Catholics, the Irish, or any other group none of it would matter to most publishers as long as his books kept selling.

While true, keeping a writer who's gone 'round the bend is one thing, and actively seeking out a writer who did so years ago is another.

It could be precisely why they sought him out. Because he is controversial and in a declining publishing house a controversial author who will get attention is far better than a reasonable choice who will not get noticed outside the established and declining fan base. Not that I would have gone with OSC, myself, I might have sought out a controversial writer known for liberal views that would get the fan base outraged rather than the non-fans.

Ugh, artistic mediums being co-opted by white supremicists is so 1980s. What next, Nu-Nazi-Metal? Goose Step?

Somehow an extra space got in there in my url.

Exactly the sort of mealy-mouthed non-reply I expected from them. So glad I'm not reading DC or Marvel.

So not surprised.

On the other hand, this is the first I have heard of an Ender's Game comic. Is it any good? I still wouldn't buy it new, but I may put it on my "look for this used" list.

I’d like to see them stick to this policy if one of their creators, say, calls DC out for their treatment of Stephanie Brown (or female characters in general).

I'm in the happy position of never having liked OSC's work in the first place, so I can just watch him descend deeper into the self-hating morass of his bigotry.

That said, this is a remarkably lousy reply, both in moral and in PR terms.

That is my position, also. His Alvin Maker books are marvels of self-congratulatory, unimaginative narrow-mindedness, without any homophobia (well... no overt homophobia) needed. His later decent into complete idiocy didn't surprise me at all.

And Ender's Game (which is the only other thing I've read by him) is overrated. I admit that it's a tighter and more intense story than the AM waffling, but it has the same undertone of, "I'm smarter and more badass than everyone else! Watch me brutally destroy everyone who's mean to me with my badass smartness!" It gets old. Quickly.

Ender's Game also lays the ground for OSC's appalling philosophy that one ought to be judged by one's intentions, and not one's actions.

Keep digging that hole, DC.

Why is DC hiring Card a problem, while Tor continuing to publish his books is not?

I feel like that counts under Zibblsnrt's exception above. And when I see kids reading his stuff, I tell them about better writers instead of going "oh a book in a child's hand, yay."

I'm not talking about continuing to publish his backlist, though. Tor keeps publishing new books by Card, and while I take the point that there's a difference between actively hiring a bigot and passively continuing to publish them, even the latter entails a choice to continue to give Card's writing your imprimatur. At some point, after all, his contract had to be renewed.

Wait, new books? Ew. I look askance at those who are buying them in quantities to make them worth Tor's while.

And I guess that's where I stand. I have the right to judge people for paying money to read it, but I don't have the right to prevent them from doing so.

I think there's also an element that Superman is a character not attached to a single writer, who's supposed to represent the best of humanity. It could be argued that anyone who seeks out Card's creator-owned work knows what they're supporting and either approves or doesn't care, but that Superman fans have more of a right to object to a virulent bigot being invited to join their existing franchise.

If you ask me, it is a problem, but a different one.

Tor has been Card’s publisher for decades, and he’s their best-selling author. If Card got pissed off enough to leave (and I don’t have any special insider knowledge of what his contracts say; I don’t know how difficult that would be for him) it would hurt Tor a lot.

DC’s not in the same position. They don’t have to cater to Card; they’re not in a position of already being dependent on him. They can easily afford to ignore him.

he’s their best-selling author.

Is he? I just checked on Amazon (Tor books published since 2000, sorted by bestselling), and he had just one book on each of the first three pages of results (and all three books were originally published last century). All the other titles were by Robert Jordan, John Scalzi, or Brandon Sanderson (a few other names started showing up on the third page).

He's definitely one of Tor's tentpole authors, along with Jordan/Sanderson. Ender's Game alone sells 100,000 copies a year when Tor does nothing with it; when they refresh it or push it somehow, it sells 200,000 copies.

Because people like Tor, and like their books, and like their editors and like trading comments with them on blogs, and OSC is a huge tentpole for keeping that imprint running. It's entirely mercenary. In a comics-enthusiast crowd, you'd hear a similar answer about why hiring OSC isn't a problem.

Someone's already got a scoop on what the first issue will be like:
http://www.the-gutters.com/comic/378-ben-bates


Under other circumstances, I might almost feel sorry for OSC. Almost. It doesn't matter what he does or says or works on from now on. The moment his name comes up, everyone's reaction is still, "oh right, that guy who threatened armed rebellion if gay marriage wasn't outlawed?" He will never live it down.

However, as it is, I hate everything else that that worthless piece of shit does and says too. So I'm not terribly sympathetic. Mostly I just wish that people would notice that he's not only a repulsive idiot about gay marriage, but just a repulsive idiot in general.

I think someone here once told me that no, he really does have some good opinions - while he's extremely conservative about some things, in other ways he is roughly as liberal as Obama, I was told. But, uhm... the man himself seems not to agree with the comparison. Note in particular his howling about "Obama's incompetent and anti-scientific economic policies" which will produce nothing but "debts and entitlements," and the way that Obamacare will inevitably bring American health care down to the levels of (GASP! HORROR!) Europe and Canada!

If there is any issue on which he is not the very model of a far-right loon when push actually comes to shove (as opposed to just making a big show of being willing to discuss the virtues of liberal ideas in theory as long as there is no immediate danger of them actually being implemented - all the better to pose as a freethinking intellectual who is not bound to any one party line, unlike all us other sheeple) then I can not imagine what that issue might be, is what I'm saying.

Um, as if the political views of Card haven't been expressed in his work, and that Card has always avowed that artists *should* express them for purposes of moral instruction. I see potential for a conflict here, even if DC doesn't.

How nice for them, bless their little hearts.

Wow, where did that story just get linked from? Tons of comments, and all the most recent ones got posted in a block and are all GOD HATES HOMOS IM NOT PREJUDICED IM JUST SAYIN. Keeping comics pure, I see.

G*ys have no place in America (they already have europe / africa where they can set up their "alternative" lifestyle communities).

Fascinating. Not least because apparently "g*ys" is the secret name of God that must not be spoken outside the Tabernacle. I did not know that.

You think something that closely associated with marriage and unicorns would be anything other than holy?

If only I'd thought of a "goys" joke in time.

Q: Why did god create the goyim?

A: Well, somebody has to buy at retail.